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portrait of Eleanor Kenny

Eleanor Kenny

Head of Communications and External relations , Europeana Foundation

European Commission seeks your views on future of digital and culture

The European Commission is now consulting on the opportunities offered to the cultural heritage sector by digital technologies. The results of this consultation will help shape related policy, priorities and funding at national and EU level for years to come. Your voice is critical. 

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Shaping priorities for the future

The Commission is evaluating one of its main policy instruments on digitisation, online access and digital preservation of cultural heritage material. The current policy recommendation was developed in 2011 and helps ministries of culture in each of the EU Member States to set their priorities and directions on digital cultural heritage, and support the work done by cultural heritage institutions across Europe. It has resulted in support for Europeana’s development as a European platform for digital culture through the millions of digitised items made available from across all Member States. The Commission is asking for your opinion on what the priorities and directions should be for the future. 

The recent COVID-19 crisis has highlighted more than ever the importance of online access to digital cultural heritage. It has also shown the resilience, creativity and solidarity of our sector.

Our sector has a valuable contribution to make to Europe’s recovery in a post-crisis world, with digital culture playing a key role. 

Digital transformation has never been so important

We have an opportunity to build on the momentum and recognition sparked by the crisis to help shape our sector’s digital future. We can shape the future to meet our needs and ambitions, and strengthen our contribution to society. But only if we work collaboratively and speak with a strong, shared voice.

Raising our voice

The next few months are critical.  This consultation comes as decisions are being made at national and EU level on the future impact of Europe’s cultural heritage sector and the funding available to support it. 

We need to help shape those decisions. Raising your voice in this consultation, as a professional and/or as an organisation is vital.  

The European Commission wants to hear your views. We urge you to respond to their consultation survey before 14 September and make sure that the voice of the cultural heritage sector is heard.

Responding to the survey

  1. Go to the consultation.

  1. You will need to create an account if you do not already have one, and then login.

  1. We urge you to complete the survey as fully as you can. It asks for your views on the importance of access to digital culture, of Europeana’s role in that, and what support you feel is required to make the advances needed as an institution and as a sector. Questions covered include the need for high-quality digitisation, skills-building and the use of 3D and artificial intelligence. 

  1. Question 24:  The EU’s funding of Europeana is important. We urge you to select ‘Strongly agree’.

  1. You also have the opportunity (Question 30) to provide further thoughts on improving digitisation, online access, digital preservation and digital transformation in the cultural heritage sector, and to submit position papers (Question 31). 

You may want to consider issues such as:

  • democratising access to cultural heritage in ways that support inclusivity, creativity and critical engagement in education and knowledge-sharing

  • the importance of collaborations that strengthen the sustainability and innovation capacity of the sector  

  • how promoting the use of digital technology and expertise to ensure our shared cultural heritage remains authentic, trustworthy and traceable is vital as people increasingly seek reliable sources of online information. 

Prioritise culture!

Change doesn’t just happen. It requires individuals, organisations, countries, and indeed the European Commission to share the same priorities. To allocate resources. To be committed. By contributing to this consultation, you can provide evidence to the European Commission of what focus is needed to secure and shape the digital future of the cultural heritage sector. 

Find out more about the consultation and take the online survey now. The consultation will close on 14 September. 

Please also take a moment to share this call to action on social media. To make it easy, here’s a tweet to copy/paste: 

I believe EU support for digital technologies for the #CulturalHeritage sector is vital. Do you? Respond to the @EU_Commission’s consultation by 14 September to have your say: https://bit.ly/2YOHEYF #AllezCulture #BuildDigitalCapacity #EuropeanaCommunities

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